Under Milk Wood (BBC Radio Collection)
Completed only a month before Dylan Thomas died, Under Milk Wood is an inspired and irreverent account of life and love in a small coastal village in Wales one spring day. Full of raucous energy and lyrical passion, it is the most complete expression of Thomas' unique perspective on the hu...more
Some works of literature just beg to be read out loud - This is the House that Jack Built and Hiawatha are two that most people are familiar with. Under Milk Wood too, is better appreciated read aloud.
A sample (read aloud with Welsh accent, sing-song, go up like a question at the end of the line):
Mr Pugh, in the School House opposite, takes up the morning
tea to Mrs Pugh, and whispers on the stairs
Here's your arseni ...more
1. I grew up in Wales
2. I read his book Under Milk Wood when I was in school.
Wales is a strange place to grow up. For a start you're told as a child that it's full of castles and dragons and daffodils and that there is evil over the border (England) and that Rugby is the one true sport. Some of those things are true. I'm sure even Dylan Thomas thought them from time to time. I lived outside Cardiff and Thomas was busily engaged in being Welsh in and around the ...more
From husbands purchasing books on how to poison their wives to the terribl ...more
Dylan Thomas originally intended this work to be radio play. However, my first experience of it was seeing the film adaptation narrated by Richard Burton, back when I was in high school in the 1970s. I remember two things about the experience: loving the sound of Richard Burton's voice, and feeling overwhelmed. This extract from the review in the New York Times goes some way to explaining my reaction:
Too many words, perhaps, for the stage. Too many words, I'm convinced, for the screen. It's not...more
Give me the parcel.
WILLY NILLY [postman whose wife reads all the mail to him before he delivers it:]
It's for Mr Pugh, Mrs Pugh.
Never you mind. What's inside it?
A book called Lives of the Great Poisoners.
Persons with manners do not read at table,
says Mrs Pugh. She swallows a digestive tablet as big as a
horse-pill, washing it down with clouded peasoup water.
Some persons were brought up in pigsties.
Pigs don't r ...more
If you only knew Dylan Thomas from his short poems (as I did before I read this) then prepare for a very pleasant shock. The wonderful rhythm of the lines here, the extraordinary creativity of compound words and unexpected similes, all sustained over a considerable distance, is something quit ...more
The introduction to this edition, ...more
But what of the text? I picked up a copy from a small independent bookshop whilst shopping in Beverley with my daughter for a student cook book, ...more
Time passes. Listen. Time passes.
Come closer now.
Only you can hear the houses sleeping in the streets in the slow deep salt and
silent black, bandaged night. Only you can see, in ...more
I give it three stars on the page and five stars audio.
I hadn't read Under Milk Wood before I saw the film version in the early 1970s at the cinema. I loved the film, and what a ...more
Edit: Ok, not to DO Dylan Thomas. Jesus Christ, people...
Though the CD lacks the ‘magic’ of the black vinyl LP which my parents passed onto me some years ago (there’s something almost visceral about watching a needle picking up and delivering sound as it traverses a black surface ….), this CD is the perfect practical replacement. I only wish that Polygram had been able (or willing?) to use the original Decca LP artwork. The cover image of this 1hr 30min double CD is utterly crass in portraying 4/5th of Richard Burton, and 1/5th of some nameless Welsh( ...more
Under Milk Wood is very hard to pin down as it's a mix of so many things, and that's what makes it so astonishingly brilliant. It delve ...more
and bible-black, the ...more
“It is spring, moonless night in the small town, starless and bible-black, the cobbled streets silent and the hunched courters'-and-rabbits' wood limping invisible down to the sloeblack, slow, black, crowblack, fi ...more
Dylan's prose, though, is rich and fun and the play overall is still enjoyable. The cast of characters are a bit of a jumble until about mi ...more
In addition to poetry, Thomas also wrote short stories and scripts for film and radio, with the latter frequently performed by Thomas himself. His public readings, particularly in America, won him great acclaim; his booming, at times ostentatious, voice with a subtle Welsh lilt, became ...more